Antonia Clark




Beauty

To my mother, her Fire Engine Red,
her Evening in Paris, her spritz
of Forbidden, air of Hypnotique,
her pin curls, the rhinestone pin
on her plain black dress.

To my mother, the crystal rosary
beads in their silver mesh pouch,
spotless white gloves tucked
into a beige satin purse
with a snapping gold clasp.

To my mother, the dance,
the sway and swirl and swing of it,
how sometimes she spun us
out and away, then pulled us back—
giddy guests at a private ball.

To my mother, the coming home
smelling of factory smoke,
of sweat and rubber, the pockets
of her faded polyester dress
sagging with tissues and Lifesavers.

To my mother, her neverending
song, the song and its singing
singing the world to herself,
herself into the world. To my mother,
her Star Dust, her Stormy Weather,
her Blues in the Night.


Disambiguated Woman
 
        for my mother


She
s all straight talk and upright
posture, tells you what to think
before you think to ask.
 
She’s wholly present, her body
a statement that never
seeks permission.

She favors the rectilinear, abhors
curve and waver, defies the moment
to slip through her fingers.
 
Her sentences are declarative,
nouns abounding. Her opinions
could be laws of physics.

In her eyes, there are no questions.
In her closet, no shades of gray.




Antonia Clark is the author of a chapbook, Smoke and Mirrors (Finishing Line Press, 2013) and a full-length poetry collection, Chameleon Moon (David Robert Books, 2014). Her poems and short stories have appeared in numerous print and online journals, including Anderbo, The Cortland Review, The Missouri Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Rattle, and Softblow. A medical writer and editor, she has also taught poetry and fiction writing and manages an online poetry forum, The Waters. A logophile, Francophile, and oenophile, she spends her days using words like schistosomiasis and supraventricular, and her nights sipping Côtes du Rhône and playing French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.










                                    

 

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